The 2022 Best Red Wines

Red wine is a friend to hearty meals but a foe to white shirts. Red wine is perhaps the most simple alcoholic beverage in the universe. You pick some red grapes and crush them with a press or your feet. Then you let them rest on their skins for a few minutes to add color (as opposed to whites, in which the juice has typically been separated from skins to make wines of lightness, clarity, and lightness). Finally, you wait for the ambient yeasts to convert the sugar to alcohol. There is no heating required, unlike beer. And, unlike liquor, there is no need for a still. All you need is grapes and a container. Mother nature will provide everything else.

These are the best red wines today, although there has been a lot of innovation. The modern additions to red winemaking are comparatively recent: oak barrel aging, filtration and cultivated yeasts. The rules and traditions that govern the production of red wines vary by region. Different regions have different regulations regarding which grape varieties can be grown, the length of the wine’s aging, the alcohol content, and the labeling requirements.

It’s not only the rules that are different for each region but also how the grapes express themselves. Pinot noir is an example of a difficult grape. It has delicate skin and struggles to ripen in places that don’t get enough sunlight. California pinot is a strong, fruit-forward style. A different style can be obtained from the same grape in Burgundy, France. It is a varietal wine with different ripeness levels, some more fruit-forward than others. However, it is remarkably earthy, rich in acidity, and has firm, taut tannins. This is not to mention the many unique practices and styles used by winemakers.

Red wines are now made in every major wine-producing country in the world. It isn’t easy to distill the entire range of red wines into one list. But that doesn’t stop us from trying. These 16 red wines are exceptional and well worth your corkscrew.

Best Overall: Gaja Barbaresco

Wine lovers prefer cabernet sauvignon to pinot noir to taste elegance for their intensity. But if tone grape can equal them on both counts, it must be Nebbiolo. The most famous Nebbiolo comes from Piedmont in Italy. The thick-skinned grape doesn’t get harvested until the end of the growing season, when the autumn fog starts to roll in. Nebbiolo gets its name from “Gebbia,” which means fog in Italian. Barolo and Barbaresco are two of Piedmont’s most famous nebbiolos.

Angelo Gaja is the one who can claim credit for placing Piedmont Nebbiolo on international maps. Gaja pioneered modern winemaking practices, such as green harvesting and aging in small barrels. These practices were not possible in Piedmont before. Although he was controversial during his early years, Gaja’s flagship Barbaresco is now considered one of the most traditional and faithful in the region. It displays the signature Nebbiolo flavors of violet and tar, wildberry and cherry, coriander and candied orange peel, baking spices, and dark chocolate. This wine is complemented by great depth and beautiful tannins that indicate a long aging period. This wine is a legend from a legendary producer. It would be a memorable drinking experience.

Best French: Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey

Louis Latour is a household name in Burgundy. It produces some of the most distinctive wines in Burgundy, including this Chateau Corton Grey, which is a blend of four Grand Cru vineyards: Perrieres Greves, Greves, Greves, and Dresses du Roi.

This pinot noir delivers deep notes of black currants, red currants and blackberry fruit, and blood orange citrus and dried raspberries. It is also rich in baking spices and dried red flowers.

Good to know:

Alexandra Neverov is a sommelier at Topping Rose House, Bridgehampton, New York. Balance is an essential element of red wine. She says, “I believe there must be an unspoken balance in great red wines, from tannins, alcohol, acid, and fruit balance.” Neverov loves reds that have strong aromatics.


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